Monday, June 30, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
The last time we heard an album from the dastardly villain, 50 Cent and his weed toting minions, he had been defeated by the Allied Forces of Real Hip Hop lead by General Kanye Omari West after cutting off the One Ring from Curtis’ treacherous finger thus freeing the people of Middle Earth from the tyranny of 50’s tragic food-sex metaphor radio dominance…or something like that. It was the first truly public blow to 50’s commercial dominance and marked the official end to the 50 Cent era of rap music. The King is dead! Long Live the King….
However, like any good Hollywood villain, you can’t keep Jason Voorhees down forever and 50 Cent returned to the scene firing with all weapons loaded releasing a bunch of popular mixtapes through his ubiquitous social-networking website, ThisIs50.com, that were seen as return to G-Unit’s mixtape gutter roots by his long-time fans and apologists. I could not give a bigger shit. 50 Cent has long past made music that was even remotely salvageable ( “I Get Money’s” inexplicable transcendent ass aside ) so the thought of 50 Cent making even more violent socially reprehensible garbage over the beats to “Dey Know” and “A Millie” wasn’t exactly going to pique my decidedly prurient interests.( I had Wale’s mixtapes to listen and Lil’ Wayne’s abortions to hate on! A man has to balance his priorities.) So it came as something of a shock that in between kicking Young Buck out of G-Unit and burning the mother of his own child’s house town (*allegedly*, of course), that G-Unit was planning on releasing their long-anticipated follow-up (as fucking if…) to their debut record called “Terminate On Sight.”
Never one to waste the opportunity to joyously hate on some people I’ve never met and iare more successful than I am, I have decided to do one of my patented reviews on G-Unit’s new album where I review the album without actually having heard a note of it. I am doing this review track-by-track Byron Crawford-style for my own personal convenience. Enjoy and as usual like with all of my reviews fictional or otherwise, this should be treated as the 100% gospel truth about this album. I will not accept dissent to the contrary.
2. “Piano Man” – This song is either 50’s heartfelt tribute to his fanboy love of William Joseph Martin Joel or a concept song about selling cocaine much like the time that Young Jeezy was writing his verse to the “Can’t Tell Me Nothin’” Remix and noticed that the keys on a grand piano were white and thus another cocaine metaphor was born!
3. “Close To Me” – This is a Tony Yayo solo ballad about his unspoken and unrequited love for 50 and how the world can never possibly understand the special bond they feel for each other. There is definitely a vocoder involved in this one. This is an album highlight.
4. “Rider Pt. 2” – I don’t particularly remember Rider Part One so I can’t imagine the song was that good to begin with. Maybe, it’s like that time where Cam’ron made a remix to “Get ‘Em Girls” on “Killa Season” and forgot the name of the original song so he just called it “Get ‘Em Daddy” instead because he had smoked himself functionally retarded at that point, anyway.
Yeah, that’s it.
5. “Casualties Of War” – This is definitely a song about all of 50’s fallen soldiers that never got to release an album on G-Unit because 50 was too busy doing his taxes. There is probably somebody like Lyfe Jennings or some other shitty third-rate R&B singer crooning a chorus about how much he misses his homies. Homo eroticism abounds.
6. “You So Tough” – This song is apparently the one where 50 Cent goes in on T.I. for snitching to the feds for beating the rap about the time that Tip decided to purchase a Jericho missile from the terrorists who captured Tony Stark. I’m sure the irony went right over
7. “No Days Off” – This one features Young Buck. I’ll let the irony of Young Buck appearing on a song called “No Days Off” marinate a little for you…. Ok, that’s enough. I’m guessing this song about
8. “T.O.S. (Terminate On Sight)” – Hey now! It’s the titular song of the album. This one probably uses a lot of G-Unified synthesizers and is produced by some fifth rate Dre Clone. I’m sure there about eight thousand references to killing people on this song. Come to think of it though? How awesome would this song be if it sampled the “Terminator Theme”? Why hasn’t there been any rap songs that sample the “Terminator” anyway? It seems like a pretty obvious choice. Dipset get on that one.
11. “The Party Ain’t Over” – Ha! This one features Young Buck, too! I’m dying from laughter here. It’s like 50 purposely placed his vocals on songs that would instantly remind people that
12. “Let It Go” – This is 50’s message song towards the Game about giving up his creepy obsession with him and
13. “Get Down” – Congratulations, G-Unit! You’ve made the one millionth song on a rap album called “Get Down”! Tell ‘em, Vanna, what they’ve won! A fully paid vacation to Flop Land, Pat! Yay! I’ll eat a whole coterie of haberdashery if this version is better than Nas’.
14. “I Don’t Wanna Talk About It” – This song is about the numerous times that Tony Yayo was gang raped in the joint while the first album was being released. Prodigy guest features on this one.
15. “Ready Or Not” - If this song does not feature an Enya-sample and have a guest appearance from Lauryn Hill than I’m gonna be pissed off on principle There are some songs in the canon you just do not fuck with.
16. “Money Make The World Go Round” – A shitter version of “C.R.E.A.M.” I’m actually kind of amazed an entire G-Unit album goes around and on the last song, they make song about money. I’m proud of these guys.
Final Verdict: There is no way in hell this album is going to be any good.
Adjusted Pitchfork Rating: 2.5
Thursday, June 19, 2008
To me, Lloyd Banks was a poor man’s Fabolous (who in turn is a homeless man’s version of Jay-Z) with even weaker punchlines (if that’s even possible) and a creepy homo erotic current, The Game was an extremely annoying name dropping lyrical cipher, and Tony Yayo was quite possibly the worst rapper alive. As for Young Buck, he was a Southern rapper so he had to suck. 50 Cent’s incredible success in the year’s 2003-2005 in inexplicably turning these guys into stars only succeeding in making me loathe these clowns ever more than I would normally hate a group of jewelry polishers. I was perfectly content on hating G-Unit as a whole until I started to slowly but surely notice that Young Buck was a hell of a rapper. Who the fuck knew?
Young Buck’s two commercial solo releases on G-Unit Records, "Straight Outta Ca$hville" and "Buck The World", were for the most part two typical G-Unified abortions filled with middling plinking faux-Dre piano beats, suspect studio gangsterisms, and enough cliche-ridden song-writing that made 50 Cent the biggest musician in the world. However despite being less than stellar efforts on Buck’s behalf, they did feature enough moments of genuine electricity that hinted towards Buck being a much better rapper than his track record had let on. "Bang Bang" and "Welcome To The South" off of Buck's debut record, "Straight Outta Ca$hville" were slow crawling bangers that played to Buck's southern roots and last year's rollicking, hyperbolic Tuba-infused "Get Buck" off of "Buck The Word" is pretty much my favorite song ever. These songs divorced from the more traditional G-Unity material on Buck's records proved that without the insidious artistic influence of Curtis Jackson that Buck could make music that could stand on it's own. Still, I wasn't convinced that Buck was anything more than 50's token southern weed carrier but as of lately, Young Buck has been coming into his own as an artist.
But what happened next is much greater than what Curtis did and only serves to prove what an artist Young Buck is slowly evolving into. "The Taped Conversation", Young Buck's official reply and opening salvo in what is sure to be a series of classic diss tracks, is a vicious but subtle strike at 50 Cent that eschews the traditional route of attacking 50 Cent (i.e. insinuating he's a snitch, insulting his prominent overbite, making fun of his penchant for going shirtless). It's in the vain of Ice Cube's classic N.W.A. diss "No Vaseline" because Buck airs 50 and G-Unit out for their personal treachery and deceitfulness. Over a brooding piano beat and haunting strings, Buck goes on for 50 for being a shameless media whore and addresses 50's hypocrisy and fundamental dishonesty. There is an emotionality to it that makes it a much more personal song than most diss tracks are. You can sense an hurt in Buck's words that is severely lacking in most modern hip hop. I find it personally fascinating.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The Mixtape About Nothing is the rare mixtape which transcends the often limited and shallow scope of the mxtape genre both because of it's conceptual brilliance and execution. Wale has crafted a mixtape that works as an odd tribute to Seinfeld using snippets of dialogue, completely unexpected shout-outs from Seinfeld members and elements of the show to create a mixtape that not only pays tribute to a brilliant show but helps comment on the rap world today. Like Seinfeld, Wale is a rapper that you might not get at first. His flow is kind of awkward in the same sense that Kanye West's flow was awkward on The College Dropout; his lyrical pedigree vaguely sounds like a warped amalgamation of Kanye, Lil' Wayne and Lupe Fiasco which on the surface would make him an opportunistic clone of the biggest trends in hip hop; and his music bears elements of D.C. go-go music which judging by the fact that there has never been a major go-go act to break out of D.C. in it's thirty year's of existence would lead one to believe that the rest of the country does not care for the sound of bongos and xylophones. However, unlike Lupe and Weezy, Wale is something they are all not. Wale is a Next Generation-type of emcee. He's the Seinfeld of the rap world.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
Hype is a funny thing. It's an intangible concept because nobody can determine why some "events" warrant it but others don't. The basic premise behind it is predicated on the implied future success of an event that nobody has actually witnessed yet. Yet, it garners so much attention but the reason for this is often a complete mystery. In some cases, the hype is so massive that no matter what the actual event turns out to be like, it will fail to live up to expectations set forth for it; in other cases, the hype is so seductive that no matter what the final product actually is, people will convince themselves of it's brilliance. It’s human nature. We either consciously want something to fail or something to massively succeed. We cannot help it.
This contradiction creates an atmosphere where no accurate immediate criticism of an event can be judged. Our biases show through and thus we end up with a skewed perception of what the event actually is. Only the slow crawl of time can provide the necessary foresight to judge the merits of an artistic “event.”
For me, at least, if Lil’ Wayne wanted to be taken seriously as an elite rapper than he would release the one element on his resume that thus far has eluded him: the classic album. For months and months, Tha Carter III has been delayed and delayed and Wayne has been guest featuring on the singles of the entirety of the South and releasing “highly-touted” (by people who inexplicably think Dedication 2 was some visionary work of art) mixtapes furthering the anticipation that his next album would be the masterpiece that was going to propel him merely from being the “hottest” rapper of his generation to the messiah of rap music itself. Well, Tha Carter III is here and it’s just merely good.
Tha Carter III is Weezy’s most ambitious and codeine-soaked album to date. It’s full of Weezy’s trademark non-sequitur style lyricism and head scratching weirdo-moments that have made him the hipster cult hero that the media adores and hardcore rap fans loathe. It’s clear that
The album for the most part is a fairly enjoyable series of Wayne’s cough syrup-infused rants about getting money, getting (wo)men to fuck him, eating rappers alive and his unspoken love for his secret lover, Birdman (I’m kidding about that last part but not really.). The problem with the record is the problem with every Lil’
I can’t help but wonder if